5-Ingredient Peanut Sauce

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Whisking a bowl of simple homemade peanut sauce

Try our go-to, 5-ingredient peanut sauce made with ingredients you likely have on hand right now. Perfect for salads, spring rolls, noodle dishes, and more!

Beautiful wood bowl full of Thai Salad with Marinated Peanut Tempeh topped with our easy peanut sauce recipe

Origin of Peanut Sauce

Although commonly associated with Thai cuisine, peanut sauce actually originated in Indonesia (source). What Americans know as peanut sauce is more commonly referred to as satay sauce (or bumbu kacang) in Indonesia, because it’s most often served with the popular Indonesian dish, satay (skewered, grilled meats).

Our inspired version is not authentic and closer to a Thai-style peanut sauce. For another, more traditional take on Thai-style peanut sauce, try this recipe from Hot Thai Kitchen.

Dipping a salad roll into a bowl of homemade peanut sauce
Wood bowl filled with halved homemade salad rolls and peanut sauce for dipping

5-Ingredient Peanut Sauce

Creamy, savory-sweet peanut sauce made with 5 ingredients! Perfect for spring rolls, salad rolls, Pad Thai, salads, and more!
Author Minimalist Baker
Print
Whisking together homemade peanut sauce in a mixing bowl
4.77 from 47 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Servings 4 (~1/3-cup servings)
Course Sauce
Cuisine Gluten-Free, Indonesian-Inspired, Thai-Inspired, Vegan
Freezer Friendly No
Does it keep? 1 Week

Ingredients

SAUCE

  • 1/2 cup salted creamy peanut butter* (or almond butter or sunflower butter)
  • 2-3 Tbsp gluten-free tamari (if not gluten-free sub soy sauce // if soy-free sub coconut aminos*)
  • 1-2 Tbsp maple syrup (or other sweetener of choice)
  • 1 tsp chili garlic sauce (or 1 red Thai chili, minced // or 1/4 tsp red pepper flake // adjust to preferred spice level)
  • 2-3 Tbsp lime juice
  • ~1/4 cup water (to thin)

Instructions

  • To a medium mixing bowl add (starting with the amount at the lower end of the measurement range where applicable) peanut butter, tamari (or soy sauce or coconut aminos), maple syrup, lime juice, chili sauce (or chili or red pepper), and whisk to combine. Add water a little at a time until a thick but pourable sauce is achieved.
  • Taste and adjust seasonings as needed, adding more maple syrup for sweetness, chili garlic sauce (or red chili or red pepper) for heat, lime juice for acidity, or tamari for saltiness. If your sauce has become too thin, add more nut butter. If it’s too thick, thin with more water. For a fun flavor twist, add some fresh grated ginger to taste.
  • Perfect for salads, spring rolls, noodle dishes, and more! Pairings linked above. Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator up to 1 week.

Video

Notes

*The best peanut butter to use is made with just peanuts and salt (no other additives). Our favorite brand currently is Wild Friends.
*If subbing coconut aminos know that it isn’t as pungent or salty a flavor as tamari and soy sauce. So you may need to add a bit more than the recommended amount. Season to taste.
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated with the lesser amount of the tamari, maple syrup, and lime juice.
*The above photos show examples of sauce made with peanut butter, cashew butter, and sunflower butter.
*For a more traditional take on Indonesian-style peanut sauce, check out this recipe from Tin Eats.

Nutrition (1 of 4 servings)

Serving: 1 serving Calories: 223 Carbohydrates: 11.7 g Protein: 10.1 g Fat: 16 g Saturated Fat: 3 g Polyunsaturated Fat: 4.51 g Monounsaturated Fat: 8 g Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 456 mg Potassium: 24 mg Fiber: 2.2 g Sugar: 5.1 g Vitamin A: 4.19 IU Vitamin C: 2.44 mg Calcium: 38.06 mg Iron: 1.14 mg

Reader Interactions

Comments

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi, We don’t think it would freeze well, but we haven’t tried it. Let us know if you give it a try!

  1. Lila Aronoff says

    I’ve been really sick of the same old flavor profile of my food lately, just pairing my tofu with plain teryaki or the same rotation of dips. I decided to give this sauce a try and it was amaazzzingg. I served it over rice with raw tofu and veggies. I think next time it would be delicious even thinner and used to marinade the tofu/veg together on the stovetop. It was so good that I made 4 servings but me and my dad ended up eating basically all of it between the 2 of us. I am going to definitely use this on other things…I feel like it would even be delicious on veggie burgers or egg & rice bowls. Thank you, thank you Dana!

    • Sonia says

      I just made this for some veggies I sautéed on the stove and the baked crispy tofu recipe also on this site. Tasted delicious and you don’t even have to bother marinating. I sprinkled Red curry powder and garlic salt on my tofu before sautéing it and then baking it. While the tofu was baking I sautéed the veg and made the sauce. Great minds think alike!

  2. Heather says

    Excellent! I made this to accompany the “Tofu That Tastes Good: Stir-Fry” Minimalist Baker recipe (which I made with modifications) and it really made the dish. (I served it separately so each person could choose how much to add to their dish.) I used Bragg Liquid Aminos instead of tamari and I used 1/4 tsp ground red pepper instead of chili garlic sauce. Very easy and delicious!

  3. Hanna says

    I’ve made this several times and it’s always a winner. My dad, who is more privy to the likes of ol’ Minnesota Spam and eggs, LOVED it as a dipping sauce for spring rolls. I also use it for pad thai (great with both rice noodles and spaghetti squash.)

  4. Aiden says

    This recipe turned out great! I tweaked it a little by using honey instead of maple syrup and using coconut milk to thin it out and brighten the color/flavor. I also didn’t add lime because I’m cooking for people who do not enjoy the flavor of it. All and all good recipe

  5. Dani says

    Awesome! I used chili garlic sauce (has a rooster on the label) and it had a perfect kick! It can also be used on pasta. Thank you!

  6. Anne says

    My kindergarten students have gotten really into the rainforest lately, and have been very concerned about conservation. One of my students is a vegetarian, and pointed out that meat consumption damages the environment. So we made this today via Zoom paired with an herb-baked tofu recipe from Wegmans. I simplified the wording, held up each written instruction, and then followed their instructions. It was a fun, tasty cooking adventure, and now they’re all excited to make peanut tofu at home with their families!

  7. Patrese says

    Hello. I have made this sauce many times and love it! I don’t know if it has been mentioned but I will often add a tsp of grated fresh ginger and it is even more amazing :)

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Love that addition! Thanks so much for sharing, Patrese! Next time, would you mind leaving a rating with your review? It’s super helpful for us and other readers. Thanks so much! Xo

  8. Ashley says

    Made this as a dip for fresh shrimp spring rolls. I like salty so I went a bit overboard with the soy sauce and it wasn’t great. I just added more peanut butter and made more to even out the salt. I used more chili garlic sauce in mine because I like spicy. Turned out great. Even my husband who isn’t a big salt guy was really into this dip. I used the leftover sauce with my leftover vermicelli and veggies the next day and it was delicious. Will be making again!

    • MR says

      Yuck. Way too much lime juice. Not sure if the person who made this actually tried it first but it’s not good. I’d cut the lime juice out or only do a tiny amount. It was super bitter and I had to throw it away and start over.

      • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

        We’re so sorry to hear that was your experience! The lime juice should make it tangy, but not necessarily bitter- we almost wonder if one of your ingredients was old?

  9. Amy says

    This sauce is amazing! I made it with my homemade peanut butter. I had to whizz it up in my mini processor to get it smooth. Sooo good. I put it on your tofu stir fry. I’m going to try the pad Thai next. Can’t wait! I was wondering if you can freeze this sauce? Thanks!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We’re so glad you enjoy it, Amy! Thanks for sharing! We don’t think it would freeze well, but we haven’t tried it. Let us know if you give it a try!

        • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

          It will likely thicken, but I don’t think it would break. I wouldn’t recommend letting it boil though. Let us know if you try!

  10. sad sally says

    mine was a flop, i used soy sauce, a crunchy peanut butter, lime juice, honey and it was so so saltly i could not bring it back it ended up in the sink. followed the recipe and did the alternative ingredients. feeling disappointed it was such a waste of ingredients after all the great reviews.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi there, so sorry that happened! We wonder if the soy sauce could be the issue as it is saltier than tamari.

    • Egle says

      I’ve also messed up my peanut sauce with too much soy sauce. It was awful. I just tried it again according to this recipe (previously I made my own up) and this time I put very little soy sauce – thinking I could add more later if it’s too little. It turned out amazing!

  11. Denise says

    This recipe has been a life saver for months, and dare I say for years to come? Tried this once and have not bought peanut sauce since. This is the holy grail: Delicious, versatile and fast. Stir fried bok choi and enoki mushrooms with rice noodles and this peanut sauce (with extra chili and garlic). Topped with fresh green onion and toasted sesame seeds.

    Thank you for sharing your recipes!

    • Emma Carlsen says

      Delicious! I modified the recipe by first cutting out the water and replacing it with the juice of a whole lime. I then used unsalted crunchy natural PB (same amount) with a spoonful of creamy PB, as well as Sriracha instead of chili paste. Also added a tbsp of white miso paste. I cooked it into spicy peanut noodles and my whole family full of picky eaters loved it!

  12. Jess says

    I’ve made a bunch of peanut sauces for noodles and dipping, and too often, they just end up tasting like slightly garlicky peanut butter. This is one of the better I’ve tried. I used honey vs. maple syrup, soy sauce for the umami element, added grated fresh ginger, and used both chili garlic sauce and red pepper flakes. Easy, has a great consistency, and was wonderful for tossing noodles I then topped with broccoli.

  13. Megan says

    This is THE BEST recipie for peanut sauce that I have found! It is perfectly balanced and it is so versatile. I added a clove of garlic and some fresh ginger, and then did 2 tablespoons each of coconut aminos, the syrup and lime juice, (fresh lime might have been even better but it was totally great with my lime juice from a bottle!!). I am so happy I found this!! Thank you!!

  14. Ryan says

    I’ve made this recipe a few times now! I highly recommend the fresh ginger suggestion! We even use this for things as simple as hand cut fries and wings. Thank you for this great quick recipe!!

  15. Shuvi says

    This sauce was absolutely delectable! I liked that she mentioned to start with the lower quantity for soy sauce and maple syrup because it allowed for some customization. I added a bit more peanut butter and chili garlic sauce and used lemon because I was out of lime. I poured this over some rice noodles and stir fried tofu/veggies, topped with cilantro and crushed peanuts. It was seriously delicious. Make this!

  16. Martina says

    I made this tonight…I’ve made several different peanut sauces over the last month or so and this one…..THIS ONE RIGHT HERE……Perfect!!!!!!!!!! Perfect balance of salty with sweet and tang. All the other ones I’ve made up until today were too salty from the tamari. This is perfection and will be my go to forever more because my family is always craving Thai style dishes and I need quick and this is quick and tasty and amazing and perfect!! Thank you! And I love your blog, my go to for quick delicious recipes without a million ingredients and stuff I usually have on hand! :)

  17. Lili says

    I absolutely love this recipe! I made peanut sauce for the first time in my life today, and I’ll stick to this recipe! It tastes amazing, I could just eat it on its own. I added a little garlic salt since I had only red chili sauce, without garlic in it. And I used coconut aminos.
    Next time, I think I will use less sweetener (I used about 1 Tbsp honey), it’s a bit too sweet for me. But I will be making it again soon, for sure.
    Thank you for sharing your recipe!

  18. Fer says

    One of the best recipes for peanut sauce, I served it with veggie and chicken wraps. You do have to taste to adjust it, however the basics are all covered, its foolproof. Give it a chance, you’ll fall on this for many recipes.

  19. Jackie Z. says

    What are some other peanut butter brands you recommend to get that smooth, creamy consistency? I seem to always struggle in getting my peanut butter in a nice liquid state to dip things in.

  20. Lisa E says

    Tonight I had a craving for noodles, broccoli, and peanut sauce, however, I had thrown out my store bought peanut sauce a while ago after reading the ingredients and being appalled! I found this simple recipe and surprisingly, I had all the ingredients on hand. It really hit the spot. I used coconut aminos in mine. Next time I might try honey instead of maple syrup and chili sauce instead of red pepper flakes to get it a little spicier! So much room for variations. Can’t wait to play around with it some more!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Lovely! Thanks for sharing, Lisa. Next time would you mind leaving a rating with your review? It’d be super helpful for us and other readers!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      The lime juice is an important ingredient in this recipe. If you are wanting to replace it with something else, rice vinegar might work- though we haven’t tried it and cannot guarantee results! Hope that helps!

  21. Nicole Gard says

    Pretty good for easy peanut sauce! I couldn’t imagine adding water to something like this, so I added coconut milk instead, and it was nice and creamy, with more flavor! (Totally recommend sub-ing coconut milk if you havr it on hand). I also threw in a little ginger and coriander to make it taste a bit more Thai. :)

  22. Dan says

    I made this in roughly the same quantities, but substituted rice wine vinegar for lime juice, honey for maple syrup, and sriracha for the chili sauce (to avoid going shopping!). Added a little bit of tamarind puree and a few drops of sesame oil. I used crunchy 100% peanut butter. It was so delicious with fried tofu, rice vermicelli and salad.

  23. Sherry says

    I made this to go with lettuce wraps that I took to a potluck, and it was awesome! Someone had a peanut allergy, so I used almond butter, which I find less flavorful than peanut butter. I ended up doubling the garlic-chili paste and using all three tablespoons of lime juice—but it worked great.

  24. Rebecca says

    Drop the mic, I will never buy peanut sauce again! I made it with coconut amino (garlic sauce), maple syrup, ginger puree, lime juice, creamy peanut butter, water, and sriracha chili sauce. Amazing! Thanks so much for the recipe, totally in love!

  25. Deb H says

    Superb!!! I will be making the all the time. I am working on clean eating right now and this fits right in with what I want to do! It tastes GREAT!!

  26. David says

    Great recipe. I added a little olive oil and coconut water, which added a lightness. Loved the result. Used it on a vegetable stir fry with cauliflower rice. Everyone raved.

    • Aly says

      Love this recipe and have used it a ton already! I was just wondering, for storing, do you recommend keeping it in the fridge? And if so, how do you go about getting back the consistency? Is the microwave fine? Thanks!

  27. Jewel says

    Sooooo good. I was being lazy and microwaved it. I only had chunky peanut butter which I actually liked the chunks of peanuts in it, Coconut aminos, and I used sriracha sauce for the chili pepper. I absolutely love it. I travel a lot and have grown to love and use peanut sauce in about everything. Thinking of it on vanilla ice cream too lol. This took me 2 minutes to make. Then added to shredded baked chicken. I’ve been craving peanut sauce and glad I found this recipe. Its in mmyt permanent use all the time recipes now

  28. JoJo @ (Elle et Moi.co) says

    Just made to go along with vegan pad thai and the Thai yellow mango Curry :) It’s delicious and I know will be perfect with the pad thai tonight

  29. Allie Gee says

    I’ve purchased bottled peanut sauce, and there’s no comparison! This is great! But I tripled the recipe, and there’s no way I’ll eat it all in a week! Can it be frozen, or bottled in some method where it can last, like store-bought?

  30. Jill says

    Wow! This is so much easier and waaaaay tastier than other peanut sauce recipes I’ve tried. This is my new go-to. Fabulous.

  31. Stephanie Gillen says

    Made this tonight when our carry out was missing sauce for spring rolls. It’s great, better than what I would have received with the order, and super easy to make! I used agave nectar as the sweetener.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We don’t recommend freezing it, Ruby but you can store leftovers covered in the refrigerator up to 1 week!

  32. Oriana says

    Five stars for this quick peanut sauce. I just “dump” everything in a small food processor and that’s it! Wonderful on any kind of cabbage, kale, brussel sprout salad. If you go to Trader Joe’s it is fantastic on their “Cruciferous Crunch collection” with added grated carrot, Persian cucumbers and diced apple. Sometimes, particularly if I am using it on cooked tempeh or tofu or on stir fry, I add some grated ginger and minced garlic.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Ethel! That should be about 133g of peanut butter and 59 ml of water. Hope this helps!

      • Ray says

        You can switch between US & metric under the Ingredients title.. I just made the sauce. Tastes great even when I added a tablespoon of tahini paste by mistake !

  33. Donna Elazar says

    Made it, so yummy! Put it on rice, roasted veggies, and baked tofu. Instead of chili garlic sauce (my partner doesn’t do spicy!), we minced a clove of garlic, and added some fresh shredded ginger and tumeric for added flavor. Also added in like 1/2 tsp miso since we did the coconut aminos (see note). Great base recipe!

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